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Car seats and the law
By law ALL children under the age of 12 and under 135cm (4ft 5in) tall must use a car seat or booster appropriate for their weight.
Most hospitals won't let you leave with your newborn unless you have a car seat to get them home in, so it's a good idea to be prepared in advance!
There are 6 groups of car seats in total, so we understand it can become a little confusing. Our Buying Guide will help you to understand what car seat your child needs, ensuring their safety whilst adapting to your life style too.
The groups are separated depending upon weight, so we would advise to weigh your child prior to buying your seat. This is very important as the ages used on descriptions are only approximate - to ensure maximum safety go by weight. For a handy quick guide, see the table below:
|Group||Category of car seat or booster seat||Approximate age of child|
|0+||Up to 13kg (29lbs) - rear facing seat||Birth to approximately 12 months|
|0+1||Up to 18kg (40lbs) - rear or forward facing car seat||Birth to 4 years|
|1||9kg (20lbs) to 18kg (40lbs) - forward facing car seat||9 months to 4 years|
|1,2,3||9kg (20lbs) to 36kg (79lbs) - forward facing car seat - high back booster with harness||9 months to 12 years|
|2-3||15kg (33lbs) to 36kg (79lbs) - forward facing high back booster no harness||4 years to 12 years|
|2-3||15kg (33lbs) to 36kg (79lbs) - forward facing car seat - high back booster seat/cushion||4 years to 12 years|
Group 0+ (up to 13kg/29lbs)
Car seats in group 0+ offer optimum protection with soft padded head rests and side impact protection. With this added comfort and security, your baby will be truly as snug as a bug. They feature a handy carry handle making it easy to transport your baby, plus a sun canopy to stop the glare getting in babies eyes.
These handy little seats can often be transferred from car to pushchair in one easy step, meaning you won't have to disturb baby. We advise to check your pushchairs compatibility before you buy - you may need adaptors if buying separately.
To be used rear facing, they are suitable from birth to approximately 12 months (0-13kg).
Group 0+1 (up to 18kg/40lbs)
Group 0+1 seats offer some versatility as they can be used rearward or forward facing, therefore making it an ideal seat from birth to approx 4 years (0-18kg).
This group is one of the more popular choices as it features car seats with plenty of padded support and protection, plus a multi position recline feature so your baby is able to sit back and relax.
Group 1 (9kg/20lbs to 18kg/40lbs)
Group 1 seats are the 'inbetweeners'. They're forward facing so your little one can enjoy the view and see Mum or Dad! Your baby/toddler is secured by a 5 point safety harness plus the seat features an adjustable seat position for added comfort and support.
Suitable from 9 months to approx 4 years.
Group 1,2,3 (9kg/20lbs to 36kg/79lbs)
Car seats in group 1,2,3 truly 'do everything'. They grow with your child due to adjustable headrests. Some models will convert into a booster seat, plus with loads of safety features and a comfy seat there isn't much else you could ask for!
Suitable from 9 months to approx 12years (9-36kg).
Group 2,3 (15kg/33lbs to 36kg/79lbs)
Group 2,3 seats are classed as high back boosters as the back will support younger children's heads and hips. The seat can then be converted easily into a booster, plus many seats have removable covers making it easy to clear up life's little spillages!
Suitable from 4 years to approx 12 years (15-36kg)
Booster seats and cushions
Booster seats give your child a little more height yet they are lightweight and easy to transfer between cars. Available in bright, fun colours plus some feature your child's favourite characters.
Boosters also ensure the correct positioning of lap and diagonal belts.
ISOFIX makes fitting a car seat quick and simple. If your car has ISOFIX Points (check with your car manufacturer or dealer if unsure) you can simply plug in your ISOFIX car seat and away you go. By using ISOFIX you are securing the car seat to the main structure of the car reducing risk of misuse and of forward or sideward motion. This provides extra solidity to your child's car seat. Always make sure that your ISOFIX seat is compatible with your vehicle as not all ISOFIX seats will be compatible with all ISOFIX points.
Fitting your forward facing car seat
When fitting your forward facing car seat, position it centrally on your vehicle’s seat. Using your knee, press the car seat firmly into the vehicle’s seat and tighten the car seat belts. This ensures a really tight fit into your car. Once fitted, please ensure the car seat belts are not twisted and re-tighten regularly.
If using a forward facing car seat where an airbag is active place car seat as far back as possible. (It is safer to keep forward facing seats in the rear of the car)
Always read car seat instructions before installing car seat.
- NEVER use a rear facing car seat on a passenger seat fitted with an active airbag.
- If using a forward facing car seat where an airbag is active place the car seat as far back as possible. (It is safer to keep forward facing seats in the rear of the car)
- Always read car seat instructions before installing a car seat.
- Regardless of the length of journey a car seat MUST be used.
- Always buy a car seat suitable to your child's weight.
- Replace your car seat as soon as your child outgrows their current one
- Make sure you know how to fit the car seat correctly, and also show others who will be driving your child around too.
- Even if you don't own a car yourself, you will still need one when others are driving you , even when you get a cab!
- If others are driving your child make sure the seat is compatible with their car too.
- If you regularly drive two cars, we would recommend having two car seats. That way you never have to worry about the car seat being somewhere else when you need it.
- Important - our car seats may not fit all cars or seat configurations. If by any chance it does not fit your car then you may return the seat under the terms of our approval guarantee.
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